New Holland Dealer Training

new-holland-ag-13-116-editedNew Holland Agriculture has spent a good part of the summer in the great state of Texas training their dealers from across North America. The training has taken place in Houston, where the temps are high and the humidity is even higher. But that hasn’t stop dealers from taking advantage of the two-day training opportunity.

The dealers rotate through six checkpoints where each new product line is announced. Details are given about changes and additions, but the most important part of the training is the chance for dealers to get behind the wheel and actually run the equipment themselves.

I spoke with Abe Hughes, Vice President of New Holland, North America, recently when they invited ag media to their training facilities in Houston, TX. Abe shared with me how growth, creating smart products and continuing partnerships are the three most important avenues New Holland has set out to accomplish.

“I’m just really excited to be sharing our seven product launches that we’ve got for the dairy and beef segments. It’s really exciting being here in Texas with you guys from the media so you can see them and hear from our experts. Then get in the field and use the equipment. We are also sharing this with all of our dealers. We have been here for five weeks training dealers and employees.”

“What I find amazing is 89 million cattle are actually out there being raised for beef and dairy. New Holland is probably providing feed for most of those cattle every single day. The more we can train people in making better hay, the better nutrition that forage is going to have for the farmer and that means better beef and dairy we are going to have on our table.”

Listen to my interview with Abe from here: Interview with Abe Hughes

2013 New Holland Ag Media Event Photo Album

Contestants Came Far & Wide For WLAC Competition

lma-13-jonesThe World Livestock Auctioneer Championship took place in conjunction with the Livestock Marketing Association’s Annual Convention. Auctioneer’s from around the world who qualified for the event traveled to Montgomery, Alabama to compete and take in the convention.

Chuck caught up with Garrett Jones from Los Banos, California, who was a contestant in the auctioneering championship. Garrett qualified in the top 31 contestants and was eager for the competition to begin.

With little agricultural background, Garrett first became interested in auctioneering when he saw a local auctioneer sell his country fair. The auctioneer was also a local cattle buyers and encouraged him to go to auctioneering school and the rest is pretty much history.

When asked if he had done any preparation for the competition he shared that auctioneers sell cattle everyday, so that part is easy. The part he was a little nervous about was the interview process and talking to a panel of judges.

Garrett was proud to do his best to represent the industry well. Here he is pictured with his dad and Jimmy Maxey, Secretary/Treasurer, Cattlemen’s Beef Board.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Garrett here: Interview with Garrett Jones

Here you can find photos from the event: 2013 LMA/WLAC Photo Album

Embracing Change Throughout The Beef Community

lma-13-janesThe beef community is no stranger to change. Understanding it may not always be easy, but embracing it is key. During the recent 2013 Livestock Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting and World Livestock Auctioneer Championship attendees heard multiple times about different changes in the industry. Technology is one of those changes that improves efficiency and makes it easier for cattlemen to do their job.

Lori Janes, with The Cattlemen’s Resource, Inc., was one of the many exhibitors of the Industry Showcase trade show. Chuck took the opportunity to chat with her about their software OrderXpress.

OrderXpress is a software program for backgrounders, stockers and feed yards. Throughout the LMA Convention Lori spoke with attendees about their new modules, keeping in mind that the customers of livestock markets are also her customers. Because of her many years in the beef industry, she speaks their language and understands their backgrounds.

A new platform The Cattlemen’s Resource has taken to is the blogosphere. Their goal is to start a blog full of technological information for cattlemen. They want to start the conversation, be able to answer their questions and find out better ways they can help cattlemen across the country.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Lori here: Interview with Lori Janes

Here you can find photos from the event: 2013 LMA/WLAC Photo Album

LMA’s Industry Showcase Provides Networking

lma-13-frankeThe 2013 Livestock Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting and World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Montgomery, Al. brought together cattlemen and other members of the beef community to network and learn more about the industry.

One great opportunity to do both of those things took place during the Industry Showcase. The trade show allowed attendees to see first-hand new products and ask questions from the experts.

Chuck spoke with Jake Franke with Anipro who exhibited at the event. Anipro is a feed supplement that can be found throughout the United States. It is designed to help cow/calf producers find a quality supplement to add to their nutrition program. Jake specifically works with the Premium Nutrition Network, which is a value-added program to help cow/calf producers, stockers and backgrounders get a comprehensive feeding prospective for their herd.

He added that the convention was full of hospitality and a great opportunity to meet many prospective customers.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Jake here: Interview with Jake Franke

Here you can find photos from the event: 2013 LMA/WLAC Photo Album

Connecting Beef Checkoff Funds With LMA

lma-13-maxeyEveryone involved in the beef industry understands the importance of the beef checkoff program. And what better time to inform producers of this beef promotion tool then during the 2013 Livestock Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting & World Livestock Auctioneer Championship.

Jimmy Maxy, Secretary/Treasurer for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and cattleman from California, took in the event and spoke with Chuck on the importance of the two organizations working together.

“The funding that comes from the promotion of beef, comes from cattlemen and cattlemen market their cattle through livestock markets. Each time that happens it’s a source for beef promotion. It’s our job to take those funds and do the best we can with them and bring back great returns to cattlemen.”

He also added that it was a great chance to personally interact with producers, that livestock markets are a collection point for checkoff funds and it serves as a way to educate producers about the checkoff program.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Jimmy here: Interview with Jimmy Maxey

Here you can find photos from the event: 2013 LMA/WLAC Photo Album

Key Policy Changes for LMA

lma-13-goodThe Livestock Marketing Association focuses on their members and during the 2013 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Montgomery, Alabama meetings were held to make sure the most effective and up-to-date policies were in place for LMA producers.

During the annual membership meeting a couple of legislative resolutions were discussed to change policies for producers across the country. Chuck talked with Chelsea Good, the new Vice President for Government and Industry Affairs for the Livestock Marketing Association. She works with legislative efforts at both national and state levels.

Four key policy issues came to the forefront for members. Chelsea shared that resolutions were made in regards to animal disease traceability, the updating of the Packers and Stockers Act, LMA’s discion to stay neutral in country of origin labeling and the choice to appose the releasing of producer information by the government.

Chelsea stressed the importance of staying engaged with regulatory agencies, now more then ever, due to the fact that many of their leadership are at least two generations removed from agriculture.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Chelsea here: Interview with Chelsea Good

Here you can find photos from the event: 2013 LMA/WLAC Photo Album

LMA Makes Moves Towards Future

lma-13-harrisMontgomery, Alabama opened it’s door last week to attendees of the 2013 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship. Members from the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) came together from around the world to discuss policies, gather information on industry issues and of course take in the competition.

Maybe one of the most important things to take place during the event was the board of directors and membership meeting. LMA is led by its members from the ground up. During this session attendees heard reports on industry and service issues, discussed committee recommendations and developed association policy.

Chuck caught up with Dan Harris, Vice President of LMA from Holton, KS about hot topics discussed and what the future holds for the organization. “We will continure to work on the animal handling situation and animal welfare here in the United States. We are going to contract with a third auditor and stay on top of this situation.”

Dan also talked about the use of technology in livestock marketing auctions and how they are looking into how auctions can advance themselves to stay connected with the ever-changing world of agriculture.

“What LMA is here for is to protect the local auction markets and protect the auction method of selling livestock in a competitive setting and gain the maxium amount of money for our producers.”

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Dan here: Interview with Dan Harris

Here you can find photos from the event: 2013 LMA/WLAC Photo Album

New Beef Ad Campaign Launched

You may be seeing and hearing new “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” advertising this summer. The beef checkoff has updated the popular campaign and rolled out new print and radio ads. Watch and learn more about the strategy behind the beef ad campaign and one of the beef producer-leaders involved.

The new campaign targets millenial and Gen-X consumers ages 25-44, and features radio ads with a new voice, actor Garrett Hedlund, who grew up on a Minnesota beef operation.

That’s the question each “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” print advertisement asks. It’s answered with bold copy highlighting the nutritional benefits of beef along with tantalizing food photography reminding the consumer that delicious can, and does go right alongside nutritious. Each advertisement calls out an individual essential nutrient, like protein: “The Strip steak has lots of protein…and your appetite’s attention.” Another ad reminds you that a dinner with beef “has iron. The most lean, delicious and tender iron known to man.”

Brooks Hired at Certified Hereford Beef LLC

AndrewBrooksAndrew Brooks has been named Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC vice president of marketing. A native of Elmendorf, Texas, Andrew is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in agricultural economics. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University-San Antonio in 2011.

Before joining the CHB LLC team, Andrew gained valuable industry experience while working for Cargill Animal Nutrition in Sioux City, Iowa. For the past five years, he has honed his craft as a promotion and education coordinator for the Texas Beef Council.

In that position, he developed industry partnerships with manufactures, processors, purveyors, retail chains, restaurants and producers including some of the leading retail supermarkets and food service distributors in the region. Through retail and foodservice promotions and educational seminars, Andrew worked to promote beef and to educate merchandisers, buyers and consumers regarding the preparation and positioning of beef as well as its palatability qualities and nutritional value.

Beef Ambassadors Helping Fuel the Team

Team Beef members compete in a variety of activities like the Boston Marathon which demonstrate the value of beef as a nutrition source. In addition to Team Beef members competing in Boston this year, the National Beef Ambassadors were also on hand. I was very glad to learn that our Ambassadors had left shortly before the tragedy that happened there this year! The Ambassadors were also in town to participate in the John Hancock Fitness Expo where they handed out beef sticks and talked with attendees. Here’s a report on how healthy, nutritious beef is fueling the team.

Learn About New Holland for Cattlemen

BeefUSAlogoWant to learn more about New Holland products and services available to cattlemen? The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is partnering with New Holland to answer producer questions about everything from field equipment, to maintenance, to quality haymaking.

Tune in as NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen goes LIVE from Denver, Colo., on Tues., May 21, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on RFD-TV. This special live episode will allow viewers to call in and speak directly with New Holland representatives about a variety of topics.

The program will be broadcast again on RFD-TV Wed., May 22, at 10:30 a.m. Eastern and Sat., May 25, at 9 a.m. Eastern. In addition, all episodes of NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen are available on the program’s website. The show is also on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter.

Uniting Partners With One Voice

ncba-logoPartnerships are what the Animal Agriculture Alliance is based on. These partnerships unite the agriculture community, creating one voice. Instead of ‘preaching to the choir,’ attendees at the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit, heard from outside voices and some challenges were presented that made us all think about how we can join together and address them.

I spoke with Chase Adams, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, about their involvement with the Animal Ag Alliance and how they plan to share the message presented at the summit with their producers from across the country.

“National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has been a longtime supporter of the Animal Ag Alliance. We’ve got a member on the board and we believe, as all the groups do, it’s so important that agriculture puts a unified face against those that really want us put out of business and thats animal rights folks. Animal Ag Alliance allows groups like NCBA to join with other groups like pork and even a lot of grain and agribusiness partners around the industry and put that unified voice together and respond to so many of the things we get attacked on.”

Listen to or download my interview with Chase here: Interview with Chase Adams

Check out photos from the event: 2013 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit Photo Album

Coverage of the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit is sponsored by National Pork Producers Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Studying Affects of Weather and Climate on Cattle

USDA-LogoThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $19.5 million to support research, education and Extension activities associated with climate solutions in agriculture aimed at the impacts of climate variability and change on dairy and beef cattle. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. The announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

The University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison, Wisconsin, received $9.9 million over five years to study the environmental impact of various dairy production systems and develop best management practices for producers to implement at the farm level. The University of Wisconsin is partnering in the project with the University of Arkansas, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, North Carolina A&T University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Washington, along with four USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratories, the U.S. Department of Energy and the industry-sponsored Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, Oklahoma, received $9.6 million over five years to better understand vulnerability and resilience of Southern Great Plains beef in an environment of increased climate variability, dynamic land-use and fluctuating markets.

A Personal Story of Lessons Learned

aaa-13-158-editedThe past can’t be changed, but we can learn from it. That’s what economist, public speaker, farm girl, wife and mom, Janet Hufnagel Thompson, stressed with her message to attendees at the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit. The event focused on how we can protect our animals, our farms, the food we eat and the confidence of consumers.

Janet shared her families fight against environmental groups to save their family farm. Unfortunately, her story doesn’t have a happy ending, but her hope is to educate others by sharing the lessons they learned the hard way. Talking publicly is something she thinks would have changed the outcome of their situation. She stated that if at least have of the people who supported them privately, spoke out publicly then they could have saved the business. But the take home message she wants all to remember is the sanctity of private property.

“The most important thing is the sanctity of private property. Private property owners need to decide what happens on their property and with their business. I think this idea that we need to regulate more to keep the bad actors from being bad doesn’t stop the bad actors. It make it hard for good people to do business. So I think we have to go back to the fundamentals that this country was founded upon, the protection of life, liberty and property. And until we do that, until we go back to treasuring private property and what it truly means, I think we are going to continue to see an erosion and deterioration of circumstances for producers and thats producers of all kinds, not just farmers and ranchers.”

Listen to or download my interview with Janet here: Interview with Janet Thompson

Listen to or download audio from Janet’s complete presentation here: Janet Thompson - Presentation

Check out photos from the event: 2013 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit Photo Album

Coverage of the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit is sponsored by National Pork Producers Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The Glass Walls Project

aaa-13-044_edited-2Speaker after speaker during the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit reminded us that transparency is no longer an option for the livestock industry. To prove that the agriculture community has nothing to hide, groups have opened their doors to share how your food is made.

Senior Vice President for Public Affairs & Professional Development at the American Meat Institute, Janet Riley, was one of those speakers who shared how her organization is bridging the divide between producer and consumer. I got the opportunity to talk with her and she gave more insight into AMI’s Glass Wall Project.

“For far too long the animal rights activists have said if slaughter houses had glass walls everyone would be a vegetarian and I didn’t believe it. Then Cargill really gets a lot of credit for the inspiration when they allowed the Oprah show into their plant. It went so well. It was just a very honest dialogue, they didn’t shy away from anything. So I started talking to Temple Grandin and I said will you be willing to host some videos and just explain in your own works how we slaughter livestock. She was delighted to show people what we do and how she has influenced what we do. She picked two plants that were representative of the beef and pork industries. Both agreed to open their doors to us. Then we decided that we would produce these videos in Temple’s own words. We wanted authentic transparency and so we just allowed Temple to explain in the best way she could how we process livestock into meat at each step of the way. It was a really interesting experience. Every now and then I would say consumers might not understand why we do this, could you explain it? And then she would.”

The beef and pork processing plant videos can be viewed at AnimalHandling.org, along with more information on meat processing. AMI is looking into producing a turkey processing video next. These videos are a great educational tool and open doors for progressive dialogue.

Listen to or download my interview with Janet here: Interview with Janet Riley

Listen to or download audio from Janet’s complete presentation here: Janet Riley - American Meat Institute

Check out photos from the event: 2013 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit Photo Album

Coverage of the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit is sponsored by National Pork Producers Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Husker Food Connection Connects Urban and Rural

IMG_7235The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (A-FAN) collaborated with agriculture-related student organizations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to host the second annual, Husker Food Connection.

Husker Food Connection helps urban students better understand where their food comes from. The theme of the Husker Food Connection was, “Know what we grow: Discovering Nebraska Agriculture.”

Listen to Lukas Fricke, UNL freshman and animal science major, as he explains how he addresses consumer concerns about modern pork production.
Listen to Fricke explain

Participants learned about where their food comes from and the importance of agriculture in Nebraska while engaging in several activities. Students received a free lunch featuring beef, pork and turkey sandwiches along with ice cream — all products raised and made in Nebraska. During the event, approximately 2,000 lunches were served. The first 1,000 students to attend the event also received free t-shirts. Numerous students were eager to take a closer look at the piglets, chicks and Holstein calf. For many of them, this was their first experience with livestock.

Listen here to Bob Meduna, Southeast Extension Education, about helping students understand how what cattle eat impacts the final beef product.
Listen to Meduna explain

Willow Holoubek, A-FAN Organizational Director, said she is impressed with the eagerness of students to help their peers understand how their food is grown. “Having conversations about food production and making this connection is vitally important for the future. A-FAN applauds the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) students for their hard work in their efforts to connect farm to fork.”

New Names for Beef & Pork Cuts

PORTERHOUSE_STEAKCS5v2The National Pork Board and Beef Checkoff Program received unanimous approval from the Industry-Wide Cooperative Meat Identification Standards Committee to introduce updated Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards nomenclature for fresh beef and pork for retailers to use on pack. Changes to the beef and pork common names were the culmination of extensive consumer research which showed an opportunity for retailers to build consumer confidence in how to shop for and prepare beef and pork.

The revised nomenclature was previously reviewed by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and Agricultural Marketing Service, and retailers, packers and scale label companies were engaged in the process. The full list of the revised beef and pork common names are now available for retailers to integrate into their scale label programs on www.MeatTrack.com.

Examples of new cut names backed by research:

Pork
· Pork Porterhouse Chop (previously a loin chop)
· Pork Ribeye Chop (previously a rib chop)
· Pork New York Chop (previously a top loin chop)

Beef
· Ribeye (previously beef rib, ribeye, lip-on, bone in)
· Tenderloin (previously beef loin, tenderloin, full, boneless)
· Porterhouse Steak (previously beef, loin, bone in)

The new cut names will eventually align with the foodservice industry as well to provide a consistent consumer perception of beef and pork at restaurants and at home.

CHB Names 2012 Distinguished Chef

ChefRobbiJenkins[3]Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) announces the title of 2012 CHB Distinguished Chef and this year’s recipient is truly dedicated to the brand. Robbi Jenkins, executive chef of Three Fires Steakhouse, Prairie Band Casino & Resort, Mayetta, KS. has many years in the culinary industry and very deserving of the award.

Originally from Mississippi, Robbi, received her degree in English and pursued other career endeavors, although cooking ran in the family and was always close to heart. Later in life she finally took on her calling and entered the two-year program at Washburne Culinary Institute & French Pastry School in Chicago.

She began her culinary career a the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago and later moved to Lawrence, KS. to be closer to family. She worked in multiple establishments in the Kansas City area before taking the head chef position with Prairie Band Casino & Resort.

“When they brought in the CHB steaks and grilled them up, they were fantastic,” Jenkins says. “The flavor, marbling and tenderness were wonderful. Having been a chef for many years, I have had the opportunity of working with many brands of beef products, and I now know Certified Hereford Beef is the beef product I can hang my reputation on. It has proven to be the most tender and consistent product each and every time.”

“My colleagues have started calling me the Hereford queen,” she says. “And I’m very proud of it, and of our restaurant. I’ve been a cheerleader for the CHB product, and I’m sure it will bring great recognition for the brand, as well as for our restaurant.”

The CHB product is used in Three Fires Steakhouse menu many times including the steakhouse burger, filet, prime rib, strip steak, ribeye and T-bone entrees. Servers are educated on the product and avidly promote it as CHB.

Fenton Barnard, Kansas City Protein LLC procurement manager, nominated Robbi for the award with numerous letters of recommendation, her acclaimed resume and the Three Fires Steakhouse menu.

Meat & Greet at Annual Meat Conference

Annual Meat ConferenceThe tastiest part of this opening day of the 2013 Annual Meat Conference has been the Meat & Greet Welcome Reception. Thanks to Tyson and Certified Angus Beef for sponsoring this. Pictured is a New York Strip Roast being sliced up. Yes, it is excellent.

Here are some other items that you could find:

Roasted Certified Angus Beef® brand Prime strip, rib and tenderloin

Innovative Appetizers featuring Tyson products: Tyson® Fresh Chicken, Chairman’s Reserve® Pork Tenderloin, and Wright® Brand Bacon.

That was just to whet our appetite though. I’m looking forward to tomorrow afternoon’s Product Tasting Reception that will be featuring over 35 meat stations!

2013 Annual Meat Conference Photo Album

Annual Meat Conference App

Annual Meat Conference AppThe Annual Meat Conference is set to kick off this afternoon. Registration is taking place now and all attendees and others are encouraged to get The Annual Meat Conference App (iOS). It’s on my iPhone. You’ll find all kinds of information including conference updates and an attendees list. Get it for Android here.

The Annual Meat Conference, sponsored by the American Meat Institute Foundation and the Food Marketing Institute, will take place February 24-26 in Nashville, Tennessee, and aims to satisfy your appetite for learning and professional growth and opens the door to fresh ideas and hot concepts.

The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) is a non-profit research, education and information foundation established by the American Meat Institute.

The Food Marketing Institute is the largest trade association of its kind and offers its members a diversity of services that range from helping the small independent operation remain competitive to identifying consumer attitudes toward food safety, new products and the like.

Follow the conference on Twitter with the #MeatCon hashtag.

I’m collecting conference photos here: 2013 Annual Meat Conference Photo Album